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Smiley77 03-10-2009 01:37 PM

Cracking drywall
I recently remodeled a couple bedrooms and in the process of remodeling my livingroom. I bought an older home which has 8.5ft ceilings. I drywalled the walls from the ceiling to the floor as most DIY sites state. There is a 0.5ft gap between the bottom drywall and the floor, where I was just going to put baseboards to cover that gap. I put a plentyful number of screws in each sheet of drywall. I had some cracking problems which I believed to be related to the type of tape I used, so I sanded down each seam and replaced with just the regular paper tape and remudded. It seemed to be holding up until I went into the attic to fish some coaxial and network wire to each of the room. At that point every seam in that bedroom cracked. The only assumption I can make from this is that since the drywall does not go to the floor, the forces of me in that attic seperated the seams enough to cause cracking. If anyone else has any ideas to prevent this or other explanations I would certainly appreciate it.

Bob Mariani 03-10-2009 02:02 PM

The space along the floor is the correct way to install drywall. This is so any wet event of the floor the moisture will not wick into the edge of the drywall. Working in the attic could crack the ceiling joints if the span for these joists is too small. In this case, do not store things there or go there again. However this should not have effected the walls at all. Unless you are very big and the floor joists are also too weak?:eek:

Were the sheets installed tightly to start with?

Smiley77 03-10-2009 02:45 PM

The sheets were butted tight together. Like I said the only real gap is along the floor 1/2 foot. There is a basement on this house that seems to be well supported, so not sure the floor joists are the problem. The ceiling joists span appear to be 16in. I weight about 225lbs, so I am sure that has some degree, but you would think these seams wouldnt crack. Also, the cracks are in the horizontal seams in the middle of the wall. One more thing to note... Prior to me drywalling this house, I had the roof redone. The previous owners has an astronomical amount of weight on that roof. They had the approximately 5 layers on that roof (wood, 2layers shingles, wood, shingles). We tore those layers off so there is only one layer of wood and a single layer of shingles. Anything I can do to prevent these cracks besides not going in the attic? I really dont store anything up there, but do need to go up there occasionally to run wire, etc.

Bob Mariani 03-10-2009 03:26 PM

the wall cracks should have nothing to do with working in the ceiling. What was the condition when you taped... hot, humid, cold ? Did you use "hot mud" (you mix from a bag) or tub mixed? The hot mud over the first and even second coats with paper tape will give you the strongest joint. are nails or screws used? What is their spacing?

Smiley77 03-10-2009 04:38 PM

If I remember correctly it was during the latter parts of winter, spring, and early summer (I live in Michigan). I used the All Purpose Joint compound in a tub from Home Depot. I used paper tape and prolly placed a screw ever 8-10inches on the wall.

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